Embrace the Cold and Enjoy Your Patio this Winter

December 16, 2022 Outdoor Living

Winter is often seen as the season to huddle indoors, but why not take advantage of your patio and enjoy the crisp, cool air? Here are some of the best ways to make the most of your patio during the winter months.

Invest in a Fireplace or Fire Pit

Nothing beats the warm feeling of a crackling fire on a chilly winter night. Whether you opt for a built-in fireplace or a portable fire pit, you’ll be able to extend the use of your patio well into the winter months.

Add Cozy Outdoor Furniture

Don’t let a little chill in the air keep you from enjoying your patio. Invest in weather-resistant furniture that will keep you comfortable, like plush outdoor pillows and blankets or a swing or hammock.

Create a Comfortable Outdoor Space

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your patio. Add heaters, outdoor rugs, and curtains or shades to create a cozy outdoor living space. Check out some of our favorite heaters here.

Host An Outdoor Winter Party

Invite friends and family over for a winter-themed outdoor party. Serve hot cocoa, make s’mores over the fire pit, and enjoy games and activities in the great outdoors.

Take Advantage of Natural Light

Even on the darkest days of winter, the sun can provide some much-needed warmth and light on your patio. Add plants or a small garden to bring a touch of life and color to your outdoor space.

Get Creative With Lighting

String lights, lanterns, and candles can add a warm and inviting glow to your patio during the winter months. Consider installing permanent lighting fixtures for added convenience and ambiance.

With a little creativity and some cozy additions, your patio can be the perfect winter retreat. Embrace the cold and enjoy the beauty of the season from your outdoor living space.

How Will a New Patio Raise My Home’s Value?

December 16, 2022 Outdoor Living

If you’re looking to upgrade your patio, you may be wondering how it can increase the value of your home. The truth is, a well-designed and constructed patio can make a big difference when it’s time for your home to be appraised.

On a base level, patios add functional outdoor living space to your home. This is especially important in areas with nice weather, as potential buyers will look for ways to enjoy the outdoors. A spacious, well-equipped patio can also provide a space for entertaining, relaxing, and cooking.

In addition to increasing the amount of livable space in your home, a patio can also improve the appearance of your property. A well-designed patio can enhance the overall look of your home, adding to its curb appeal and making it more attractive to potential buyers.

A patio can also add value to your home by providing a place for outdoor activities and hobbies. If you enjoy grilling, gardening, or even just lounging in the sun, a patio can provide the perfect space to pursue these interests. This added value can appeal to families with young children or anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors.

Overall, upgrading your patio can be a great investment in increasing your home’s value. Not only does it add functional outdoor living space, but it can also improve the appearance of your property and provide a gathering place for parties and get-togethers. So if you’re looking to build a new patio, consider how it can add value to your home and make it more appealing to potential buyers.

Everything You Need to Know About Building Your New Patio

December 5, 2022 Outdoor Living

There’s no better time to upgrade your patio than the new year. Whether you’re looking for a simple redesign or want to add to your current space, there are plenty of factors to consider. Here are a few tips on how to get started.

Beginning the Process

There are plenty of things to consider before starting the design process. Whether you’re wanting to know prices or the patio process timeline, we have you covered.

“What should I do before calling TCP?”

With factors like usage, family size, and weather all playing a factor in designing your patio, find out what to do before you give us a call.

Read More

“How much should I expect to spend on my patio?”

It’s important to know your budget before beginning your process. Find out what factors make the difference between a $30,000 and $300,000 patio.

Read More

“How long will my patio construction take?”

If you’re looking to have your patio completed in a certain time frame, it’s good to know how long the process is. Find out when you can expect your completed outdoor living space.

Read More

Patio Design Tips

There are plenty of things that go into designing a patio. We’re more than happy to help you along the way, but if you want to start thinking about the design process, here are some great places to start.

“What style of outdoor lighting should I go with?

From spotlights to chandeliers and everything in between, there’s an outdoor lighting fixture to match your patio. Check out some of our favorite options.

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“Should my patio have a retractable screen?”

If you want a great way to stay cool and avoid bugs year-round, retractable screens are a great option for your backyard. Find out more about these patio game changers.

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“What kind of stonework floor goes best with my house?”

There are plenty of great options when it comes to patio floors, whether it’s stone, brick, or tile. Learn more about the pros and cons of each.

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Everything About Outdoor Kitchens

An outdoor kitchen can increase your home’s value and make it the perfect gathering place. From appliances to countertops, we have everything you need to know about your new kitchen.

“What kind of kitchen sink should my backyard have?”

An outdoor kitchen sink is a great way to add convenience and functionality to your patio. Learn about some of our favorite designs.

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“What countertop fits my kitchen best?”

There are many types of countertop materials, all varying in style, durability, and price. Check out a few of our favorites.

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“What appliances should be in my outdoor kitchen?”

From ice machines to pizza ovens, there are plenty of great outdoor kitchen appliances you’ll love. Learn more about these great options.

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All About Water Features

Water features are a great way to cool down year-round. If you’re looking to add one or already have one, we can help make it perfect for your new backyard.

“Which water feature fits best in my backyard?”

Whether it’s pools, ponds, or fountains, the perfect water feature is waiting for you. Learn more about each feature.

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“Should I get a chlorine or saltwater pool?

While both water treatment options have advantages and disadvantages, read our blog to learn more before making a decision.

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“Should I build a cabana or pool house?”

Nothing helps make your backyard an outdoor oasis like these two structures. Find out which one is best for your outdoor living space.

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With these tools, you’ll be ready to take the plunge and make your patio dreams a reality.

How Do You Choose Between Free-Standing or Attached Patios?

November 3, 2022 Outdoor Living, Patio Design

Picking between an attached and free-standing patio may be confusing at first, but both can serve different purposes for your backyard depending on your usage and the space you have.

Attached Patios

Attached patios, as the name suggests, are outdoor living spaces connected to the back of your house. There are plenty of factors to consider when designing your attached patio, including your price range and usage. Because of its close proximity to your home, attached patios are easier and are typically less expensive to run water, gas, and electric lines to appliances like sinks and grills. Other things to consider when choosing an attached patio are the roof lines and elevation of your backyard, as well as windows on the back of your home that may need to be worked around.

While it may seem like the easier option to have an attached patio, there are some circumstances where that may not be possible. Previously installed pools and uneven terrain may only leave room for a free-standing patio. Multiple roof heights and breezeway placement are also factors that may prevent an attached patio.

Free-Standing Patios

Free-standing patios are outdoor living spaces that provide an outdoor retreat just a few steps out of your backdoor. These are also commonly known as pool houses or cabanas, which we’ve previously discussed. Being in the middle of your backyard, most of these structures are shaded to keep you and your guests away from the heat. Both spaces can be fitted with a privacy wall, but you might find it more beneficial with a free-standing patio, depending on its location. However, being far away from the house means that adding water, gas, and electric lines can be more difficult. 

Regardless if your backyard has a free-standing or attached patio, both provide shade and great areas to spend time outdoors. The decision between one or the other all depends on the layout of your home and the configuration of your backyard. No matter which outdoor living space suits your home, we’re more than happy to help you achieve your patio dreams.

How should I heat my patio?

November 3, 2022 Outdoor Living

No matter what time of year it is, you deserve to enjoy your patio. While we’ve previously talked about ways to cool off your patio on hot summer days, what happens when the temperature starts dropping?

Here are a few of our favorite patio heating options:

Fireplace

You can’t beat the classic fireplace. Whether wood or natural gas, it’s hard to deny the crackling, cozy comfort that a fireplace brings. Not only does it help heat up your outdoor living space, but it’s a beautiful addition to your porch that everyone will gravitate around.

Fire Pit

A fire pit is a great way to bring people together while still staying warm. Like fireplaces, fire pits are mostly wood or natural gas-based, but their size and central locations are great for huddling around. If you don’t want to add a permanent pit made of brick or stone to your backyard, you can purchase more portable options, allowing you to store the pit when you’re not using it. 

Patio Heater

Heaters from brands like Bromic and Innova can both be installed under your patio cover, which allows for them to be directly connected to your power source. This way, you won’t have to worry about filling up a propane tank, just enjoying your warm outdoor living space.

If you don’t want to install a permanent heater, portable umbrella heaters have become increasingly popular over the years. Usually running on propane, these heaters can keep your patio warm throughout the winter without taking up too much space. This is the way to go if you’re looking for a non-invasive, portable heater.

Regardless of which heating option you choose, the only other things you’ll need are some chairs, some hot cocoa, and your loved ones, and you’re set for a great winter.

Project of the Month: October

October 18, 2022 Outdoor Living

This home did not have any covered space in their backyard and really needed some shade, giving us a large yard with a blank slate. 

TCP poured approximately 1330SF of new concrete to allow for both a covered and uncovered area. We built a covered space of about 810SF that included three distinct areas – a screened porch, a kitchen area, and just an open-air space.  

The screened-in porch area is a year-round room with screens meant for sun and bug-blocking. In addition, we installed a retractable screen in the opening that leads to the other sections of the outdoor space. A custom-built gas-starting wood fireplace is the room’s focal point, featuring Bromic heaters. The stone is an Austin Cream and Austin Chop White from Republic Stone, and a custom wood mantle was installed as well as a pre-stained tongue and groove wood American Nut Brown ceiling. A large fan was also installed to keep the family cooler in the summertime. 

The custom outdoor kitchen area is roughly 300 SF and has the same ceiling and stone finishes. The gabled roof really opens up the space over the kitchen counter. All appliances are from RCS and include a grill, fridge, door, and drawers, while the counter is granite and has a nice bar top area that wraps around to define the space. There is plenty of room for the dining table to seat eight people comfortably. 

This area is adjoined to an open-air space for the entrance into the home and as a connector to the uncovered patio area also installed. The flooring throughout is a Versailles pattern travertine color Philadelphia from QDI. 

This space is now a backyard oasis with plenty of room to enjoy the outdoors.

The perfect complement to your pool

October 18, 2022 Outdoor Living

If you’re dreaming of a cooler summer next year, now is the time to plan on complementing your pool. Although the differences between a pool house and a cabana may not seem obvious initially, both additions to your patio serve different purposes to make your summers great.

Cabana Basics

Traditionally, cabanas are open structures made for shade and relaxation by the pool. Like a free-standing patio cover, cabanas can provide great backyard views and can be upgraded to feature a bar or an open kitchen. Privacy walls and screens can also be added to add seclusion to your backyard. With the right outdoor furniture and appliances, your cabana can become an outdoor oasis on those hot summer days. 

Pool House Basics

Types of pool houses can vary depending on the amenities, but many pool houses are four-sided structures with plenty of usage outside of the pool. Some pool houses feature bathrooms, showers, and storage for pool equipment and toys. Other options can feature kitchens stacked with appliances like sinks and refrigerators as well as extra bedrooms, effectively turning it into a guest house. With these extra amenities, a pool house is something that can truly be used year-round.

Whether you opt for the pool house or the cabana, both additions can transform your backyard into a summer destination.

How Much Does an Outdoor Patio Cost?

July 29, 2022 Outdoor Living

The one-word question: budget? It’s tough to answer “How much does an outdoor patio cost?” when it comes to an outdoor living space. So many factors go into the final quote. And, yes, it is constantly changing due to the cost of materials and labor.

Decisions, Decisions

Here at TCP, our years of experience help us account for the many different aspects of creating a budget. The main things that will impact the cost:

  • Size of project
  • Types of finishes
  • Roof lines and existing structures
  • Outdoor kitchen
  • Custom fireplace
  • Screens
  • Electric heaters. 

The Basics

Let’s start simple – what size project is needed? An average project for us is in the 400-500 square foot range. That allows space for a dining area and a living room area (think table and chairs for 4-6 and a couch and one side chair). This size project—which typically includes pouring or adding concrete, building a fully shingled covered patio with simple, basic finishes—would be in the $40-80K range. For upgraded finishes like a nicer ceiling, stone or brick on the columns, stucco, and upgraded flooring, it would be in the 60-80K range. Of course, a larger space would add to the cost.

Adding an Outdoor Kitchen

In your backyard, kitchens can be a simple grilling station or a full-blown gourmet outdoor kitchen. Something simple would be 8-10 linear feet which would add $15-25K to the project. Anything larger would add $25K+ to your project. There are so many options for appliances, countertops, backsplashes, and the fascia for your kitchen (brick, stone, stucco, tile) that additional costs can vary widely.

Outdoor kitchen with grill and green egg.

Heat Things Up

Adding a fire feature will also add to your budget. A full-blown fireplace—whether wood burning or natural gas—will generally add $15-25K to your project. Again, lots of options to consider. You have your choice of stone, mantle, hearth, hanging a TV above it, building in storage or cabinets—the list is endless. 

So, what about just a firepit? If you want a fire feature and are on a stricter budget, this may be the way to go. Wood burning or natural gas will typically add $5-10K to your project. The size, shape and type of stone used will affect the cost as well.

Outdoor patio with fireplace

Additional Upgrades

Two more things to budget for: motorized screens or electric heaters. Motorized screens are built custom to fit the openings of your space. Consider adding up to $2-5K per opening. And electric heaters are such a great way to add to your evening enjoyment on cool nights. These would add $2-4K per heater. It all depends on the size of the heater you choose.

Example Budgets in Houston and Dallas

Answering the how much an outdoor patio should cost is possible—it just takes planning. This guide below can give you a good idea on how to budget for your wants and needs.

  1. Budget for $40-80K for about 400 sq. feet (table and couch setup)
    1. Heaters, screens, higher-end finishes, and speakers add cost.
  2. Simple stamped concrete and ceiling (not gable) runs in the $50K range.
  3. Higher-end spaces with an outdoor kitchen run from $60-120K+ including appliances. Size, finishes and running utilities affect the price.
  4. Adding a fireplace is around the same price as adding a kitchen.
  5. Fireplace and kitchen? Cost will be $100K+.

Environmentally Friendly Outdoor Furniture

July 7, 2022 Outdoor Living

A big step in planning your outdoor patio is picking out furniture pieces to fill the space once it’s complete. It’s always great to consider sustainability, and there are more and more options that will look good, last, and have less impact on the environment. Here’s what to look for when picking environmentally friendly outdoor furniture.

Start with the manufacturing process

Look for companies that use sustainable materials and low-impact processes when constructing their furniture. Many eco-friendly brand websites will give you an inside look into their production process to give you as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision. 

For wood furniture, make sure they are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). For plastic furniture, check what percentage is actually made from recycled plastics. And check their factory’s carbon footprint to make sure they are offsetting their usage with adequate recycling and reduced waste.

Patio with wood outdoor furniture around fireplace

Go with timeless, versatile outdoor furniture

The longer you use your furniture, the better. If you choose trendy pieces that go out of style in 10 years, you may have to replace them. Instead, go with timeless pieces that will last. And think about smaller, more versatile tables and chairs that can be reconfigured over time to switch up the layout without having to buy new pieces.

Spend a little more on environmentally friendly outdoor furniture

Another way to make sure your furniture is around for a long time is to buy pieces that are made to last. High quality products carry a higher price tag, but it’s better to spend the money upfront than to have the furniture fall to pieces in a few years. You’ll end up replacing them and sending the old pieces to a landfill. Check the company’s warranties. If they guarantee their products will last 20 years, that’s a good indicator. 

Patio with wicker outdoor furniture

Take good care of them

Proper maintenance will make sure your furniture lasts a long time. Follow the care instructions including covering furniture in the winter, putting pillows away, properly washing cushions, re-sealing wood, and anything else the manufacturer suggests.

When you’re ready for your new patio to put your environmentally friendly outdoor furniture, give one of our outdoor specialists a call at 281-265-1994 in Houston or 972-915-2727 in Dallas/Fort Worth.

What Type of Furniture is Best for Your Patio?

June 3, 2022 Outdoor Living, Outdoor Style Show

The right patio furniture adds to the overall design of your patio and invites you and your guests to live in the space.

With so many options available, it can be challenging to find pieces that work best for your lifestyle and design.

Here’s a quick guide to some of the most popular patio furniture options.

Patio with fire pit and wicker chairs

Wicker Patio Furniture

Outdoor wicker furniture is typically made of a synthetic resin woven into a wicker pattern. It’s a popular choice because it’s durable, easy to clean, and lightweight enough to be moved easily.

Look for wicker furniture made of a synthetic resin with of High-Density Polyethelene (HDPE). Less expensive wicker furniture is often made from PVC. However, PVC is not as durable and may crack and peel more quickly.

Patio cover with lamp and wrought iron chairs with cushions

Wrought Iron Patio Furniture

Looking for something a little more substantial? Wrought iron is one of the most durable types of furniture. You can find handcrafted pieces that last a lifetime.

White patio with wood couch, chairs and table

Wood

When it comes to wood outdoor furniture, we usually recommend teak. Many people are attracted to its durability and natural look. Due to its natural oils, it can withstand some of the most extreme weather conditions.

Teak tends to take on a grayish patina over time, so it’s recommended to have it refinished at least every two years.

Aluminum Patio Furniture

Aluminum is the most common type of outdoor furniture due its budget-friendliness. Despite a lower cost, aluminum furniture is lightweight and hold up well.

Modern patio with couch and fireplace

Cushions and Pillows

Water-resistant cushions normally come with your outdoor furniture. But you can always refresh the look of your outdoor space with new cushions and pillows.

Look for cushions and pillows that are made of weather-resistant materials that can withstand moisture and long periods of sunlight. 

We can help design the right patio. Get a free quote today at https://texascustompatios.com/contact/.

Have a project in mind? We work throughout the Houston and Dallas - Fort Worth areas.

Our Customers Love Us

We would definitely recommend Texas Custom Patios. Ryan and the crew that works with him were very efficient and immaculate. Ryan let us know each day what steps would be taken during the process building our pergola for our patio. From the construction, staining, and installing the electrical outlets and fans. Valentine is a true visionary with his ideas and construction. Everyone is truly impressed with the job they did.

© 2023 TCP Custom Outdoor Living